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Title: Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, Jubilee Issue, July 18, 1891
Author: Various
Language: English
As this book started as an ASCII text book there are no pictures available.
Copyright Status: Not copyrighted in the United States. If you live elsewhere check the laws of your country before downloading this ebook. See comments about copyright issues at end of book.

*** Start of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, Jubilee Issue, July 18, 1891" ***

This book is indexed by ISYS Web Indexing system to allow the reader find any word or number within the document.



VOL. 101.

July 18, 1891.



"My Reminiscences!" said _Mr. Punch_, replying to a question put by
his Interviewer, ANNO DOMINI EIGHTEEN-NINETY-ONE; "They are already
before the World, in exactly One Hundred Volumes! My first 'Number'
bore date 'for the week ending July 17th, 1841. My memory is indeed
stored with recollections, pleasant, picturesque, pathetic, of the
teeming past, memories of my joyous 'Table,' of my well-beloved 'Young
Men,' of Great Names, of Genial Comrades, of Bright Wits, of Warm
Hearts, of Famous Artists, of Clever Writers, who--in the words of the
greatest of them all--

  'Perched round the stem
  Of the jolly old tree.'

"How well the words of the wise wit written in 1847 express our
thoughts to-day, Mr. ANNO DOMINI:--

  'Here let us sport
  Boys, as we sit,
  Laughter and wit
  Flashing so free.
  Life is but short--
  When we are gone,
  Let them sing on
  Round the old tree.

  Evenings we knew
  Happy as this;
  Faces we miss
  Pleasant to see.
  Kind hearts and true,
  Gentle and just,
  Peace to their dust!
  We sing round the tree.'

It is one of my proudest memories to recollect that THACKERAY's
'Mahogany Tree,' was my Table."

"To have been Amphitryon to _such_ guests must have been the most
pleasant privilege of hospitality," said ANNO DOMINI.

"Very true," responded _Mr. Punch_, "And of all my
Deputy-Amphitryons--if I may use the term--who more fully, fitly,
justly, and genially filled the post than the earliest of them all,
the kindly and judicious MARK LEMON? Had not he and clever HENRY
MAYHEW, and Mr. Printer LAST, and EBENEZER LANDELLS, my earliest
engraver, foregathered first with me in furtherance of the 'new
work of wit and whim,' embellished with cuts and caricatures, to
be called:--


"LEMON, and LAST, and MAYHEW, were they here to-day, would probably
agree to divide between them the early honours, as they shared the
early responsibility. But doubtless MARK LEMON was the literary shaper
of the 'Guffawgraph,' as he jocularly called it in his 'Prospectus,'
and, from the first, its guiding spirit. Happily so, for his was a
spirit fitted to rule, both by power, and tact, and taste. With 'Uncle
MARK' in the chair, I knew there would be neither austere autocracy,
nor _fainéant_ laxity, neither weakness of stroke nor foulness
of blow, neither Rosa-Matilda-ish, mawkishness, nor Rabelaisian

"How well I remember my first group of 'Young Men,'" pursued _Mr.
Punch_, musingly. "There was swift and scathing DOUGLAS JERROLD, with
his tossed and tangled mane of grey hair. GILBERT ABBOTT À BECKETT,
too, the whimsically witty, the drolly satirical, the comically
caustic. HENRY MAYHEW, of course, and, a little later, his brother
HORACE, the simple, lovable 'PONNY.' HENNING, NEWMAN and BRINE, were
my earliest Artists. HENNING drew the first Cartoon, whilst NEWMAN and
BRINE, and, later, HINE, between them, were responsible for most of
the smaller cuts, head-and-tail-pieces, pictorial puns, and sketchy
silhouettes, wherewith _Punch's_ early pages abounded.

"In the fourth Number of _Punch_, published on August 7th, 1841, first
appeared the soon-to-be-famous signature of 'JOHN LEECH.'"

"Ah! JOHN LEECH," cried the attentive ANNO DOMINI. "A name to conjure
with! How did that 'Star swim into your ken'?"

"There was a certain clever, scholarly, and genial gentleman,"
responded _Mr. Punch_, "who had lately published, under the pseudonym
of 'PAUL PRENDERGAST,' an extremely funny _Comic Latin Grammar_. 'PAUL
PRENDERGAST' was, in reality, Mr. PERCIVAL LEIGH, originally a medical
gentleman, the well-beloved 'Professor' of later _Punch_ days. The
_Comic Latin Grammar_ had been admirably illustrated by a personal
friend, and fellow-student, of LEIGH's named LEECH. The services of
_both_ of the contributors to the _Comic Latin Grammar_ were soon
enlisted in my interests.

"Another of LEECH's medical student friends was ALBERT SMITH, and he
before long was penning his 'Physiology of London Evening Parties'
(illustrated by PHIZ--HALBOT KNIGHT BROWNE--NEWMAN, and others) for my
JOHN GILBERT, and others, drew also for the young Journal, the
printing of which had been taken over by the Whitefriars firm of
BRADBURY AND EVANS, with whom as proprietors and fast friends, _Punch_
has ever since been happily associated.

"As early as my Fourth Volume," pursued _Mr. Punch_, "it became
obvious that, in the person of 'Our Fat Contributor,' a certain
'MICHAEL ANGELO TITMARSH' was writing and drawing for _Punch_.

(_Continued on Page_ 4.)

       *       *       *       *       *




       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *

As we hope, gentle public, to pass many happy hours in your society,
we think it right that you should know something of our character and
intentions. Our title, at a first glance, may have misled you into
a belief that we have no other intention than the amusement of a
thoughtless crowd, and the collection of pence. We have a higher
object. Few of the admirers of our prototype, merry Master PUNCH, have
looked upon his vagaries but as the practical outpourings of a rude
and boisterous mirth. We have considered him as a teacher of no mean
pretensions, and have, therefore, adopted him as the sponsor for our
weekly sheet of pleasant instruction. When we have seen him parading
in the glories of his motley, flourishing his baton (like our friend
Jullien at Drury-lane) in time with his own unrivalled discord, by
which he seeks to win the attention and admiration of the crowd,
what visions of graver puppetry have passed before our eyes! Golden
circlets, with their adornments of coloured and lustrous gems, have
bound the brow of infamy as well as that of honour--a mockery to both;
as though virtue required a reward beyond the fulfilment of its own
high purposes, or that infamy could be cheated into the forgetfulness
of its vileness by the weight around its temples! Gilded coaches have
glided before us, in which sat men who thought the buzz and shouts
of crowds a guerdon for the toils, the anxieties, and, too often, the
peculations of a life. Our ears have rung with the noisy frothiness of
those who have bought their fellow-men as beasts in the market-place,
and found their reward in the sycophancy of a degraded constituency,
or the patronage of a venal ministry--no matter of what creed, for
party _must_ destroy patriotism.

The noble in his robes and coronet--the beadle in his gaudy livery
of scarlet, and purple, and gold--the dignitary in the fulness of his
pomp--the demagogue in the triumph of his hollowness--these and other
visual and oral cheats by which mankind are cajoled, have passed in
review before us, conjured up by the magic wand of PUNCH.

How we envy his philosophy, when SHALLA-BA-LA, that demon with the
bell, besets him at every turn, almost teasing the sap out of him! The
moment that his tormentor quits the scene, PUNCH seems to forget the
existence of his annoyance, and, carolling the mellifluous numbers of
_Jim Crow_, or some other strain of equal beauty, makes the most of
the present, regardless of the past or future; and when SHALLA-BA-LA
renews his persecutions, PUNCH boldly faces his enemy, and ultimately
becomes the victor. All have a SHALLA-BA-LA in some shape or other;
but few, how few, the philosophy of PUNCH!

We are afraid our prototype is no favourite with the ladies. PUNCH
is (and we reluctantly admit the fact) a Malthusian in principle, and
somewhat of a domestic tyrant; for his conduct is at times harsh and
ungentlemanly to Mrs. P.

  "Eve of a land that still is Paradise,
  Italian beauty!"

But as we never look for perfection in human nature, it is too much
to expect it in wood. We wish it to be understood that we repudiate
such principles and conduct. We have a Judy of our own, and a little
Punchininny that commits innumerable improprieties; but we fearlessly
aver that we never threw him out of window, nor belaboured the lady
with a stick--even of the size allowed by law.

There is one portion of the drama we wish was omitted, for it always
saddens us--we allude to the prison scene. PUNCH, it is true, sings in
durance, but we hear the ring of the bars mingling with the song. We
are advocates for the _correction_ of offenders; but how many generous
and kindly beings are there pining within the walls of a prison, whose
only crimes are poverty and misfortune! They, too, sing and laugh, and
appear jocund, but the _heart_ can ever hear the ring of the bars.

We never looked upon a lark in a cage, and heard him trilling out
his music as he sprang upwards to the roof of his prison, but we felt
sickened with the sight and sound, as contrasting, in our thought,
the free minstrel of the morning, bounding as it were into the
blue caverns of the heavens, with the bird to whom the world was
circumscribed. May the time soon arrive, when every prison shall be
a palace of the mind--when we shall seek to instruct and cease to
punish. PUNCH has already advocated education by example. Look at his
dog Toby! The instinct of the brute has almost germinated into reason.
Man _has_ reason, why not give him intelligence?

We now come to the last great lesson of our motley teacher--the
gallows! that accursed tree which has its _root_ in injuries.
How clearly PUNCH exposes the fallacy of that dreadful law which
authorises the destruction of life! PUNCH sometimes destroys the
hangman: and why not? Where is the divine injunction against the
shedder of man's blood to rest? None _can_ answer! To us there is but
ONE disposer of life. At other times PUNCH hangs the devil: this is as
it should be. Destroy the principle of evil by increasing the means
of cultivating the good, and the gallows will then become as much a
wonder as it is now a jest.

We shall always play PUNCH, for we consider it best to be merry and

  "And laugh at all things, for we wish to know,
  What, after all, are all things but a show!"--_Byron_.

As on the stage of PUNCH's theatre, many characters appear to fill
up the interstices of the more important story, so our pages will be
interspersed with trifles that have no other object than the moment's
approbation--an end which will never be sought for at the expense of
others, beyond the evanescent smile of a harmless satire.

       *       *       *       *       *


There is a report of the stoppage of one of the most respectable
_hard-bake_ houses in the metropolis. The firm had been speculating
considerably in "Prince Albert's Rock," and this is said to have
been the rock they have ultimately split upon. The boys will be the
greatest sufferers. One of them had stripped his jacket of all its
buttons as a deposit on some _tom-trot_, which the house had promised
to supply on the following day; and we regret to say, there are
whispers of other transactions of a similar character.

Money has been abundant all day, and we saw a half-crown piece and
some halfpence lying absolutely idle in the hands of an individual,
who, if he had only chosen to walk with it into the market, might
have produced a very alarming effect on some minor description of
securities. Cherries were taken very freely at twopence a pound, and
Spanish (liquorice) at a shade lower than yesterday. There has been a
most disgusting glut of tallow all the week, which has had an alarming
effect on dips, and thrown a still further gloom upon rushlights.

The late discussions on the timber duties have brought the match
market into a very unsettled state, and Congreve lights seem destined
to undergo a still further depression. This state of things was
rendered worse towards the close of the day, by a large holder of the
last-named article unexpectedly throwing an immense quantity into the
market, which went off rapidly.

       *       *       *       *       *


Many of our readers must be aware, that in pantomimic pieces, the
usual mode of making the audience acquainted with anything that cannot
be clearly explained by dumb-show, is to exhibit a linen scroll,
on which is painted, in large letters, the sentence necessary to be
known. It so happened that a number of these scrolls had been thrown
aside after one of the grand spectacles at Astley's Amphitheatre, and
remained amongst other lumber in the property-room, until the late
destructive fire which occurred there. On that night, the wife of one
of the stage-assistants--a woman of portly dimensions--was aroused
from her bed by the alarm of fire, and in her confusion, being unable
to find her proper habiliments, laid hold of one of these scrolls, and
wrapping it around her, hastily rushed into the street, and presented
to the astonished spectators an extensive back view, with the words,
"BOMBARD THE CITADEL," inscribed in legible characters upon her
singular drapery.


Hume is so annoyed at his late defeat at Leeds, that he vows he will
never make use of the word Tory again as long as he lives. Indeed,
he proposes to expunge the term from the English language, and to
substitute that which is applied to his own party. In writing to a
friend, that "after the inflammatory character of the oratory of the
Carlton Club, it is quite supererogatory for me to state (it being
notorious) that all conciliatory measures will be rendered nugatory,"
he thus expressed himself:--"After the inflamma_whig_ character
of the ora_whig_ of the nominees of the Carlton Club, it is quite
supereroga_whig_ for me to state (it being no_whig_ous) that all
concilia_whig_ measures will be rendered nuga_whig_."


A correspondent to one of the daily papers has remarked, that there
is an almost total absence of swallows this summer in England. Had the
writer been present at some of the election dinners lately, he must
have confessed that a greater number of _active swallows_ has rarely
been observed congregated in any one year.


My Dear PUNCH,--Seeing in the "Court Circular" of the _Morning Herald_
an account of a General Goblet as one of the guests of her Majesty,
I beg to state, that till I saw that announcement, I was not aware of
any other _general gobble it_ than myself at the Palace.

Yours, truly, MELBOURNE.

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: Horace Mayhew. Richd. Doyle. John Leech. Mark Lemon.
W.M. Thackeray.

Percival Leigh. Gilbert A. à Beckett. Tom Taylor. Douglas Jerrold.

Prince de Joinville. Geo. Hudson. Shaw Lefevre. Prince Albert. B.
Disraeli. Col. Sibthorp. Sir Fredk. Trench. Emperor of Russia.

Sir R. Peel. Sir J. Graham. D. O'Connell. Jenny Lind. Lord John
Russell. Louis Philippe. The British Lion. Mehemet Ali. Duke of

Richd. Cobden. Lord George Bentinck. Gen. Tom Thumb. THE QUEEN. MR.
PUNCH. Lord Brougham. Duke of Wellington.


       *       *       *       *       *


Yes, the lion THACKERAY had joined the Table, and thenceforth for many
years he illumined my pages with his keen wit and ripe wisdom, his
graceful prose, his polished verse, and his characteristic pictures.

"The frontispiece to Volume V. (1843) was by RICHARD DOYLE, a plain
foreshadowing of the celebrated design which was ever after to form
the familiar Cover of the _Punch_ Number. DOYLE had now joined the
Staff, and for many years his fine fancy was allowed full play in my

"At the end of the same Volume, upon page 260 of a supplement,
entitled, '_Punch's_ Triumphal Procession,' appeared TOM HOOD's
never-to-be-forgotten 'Song of the Shirt.' It is one of _Mr. Punch's_
pleasantest Reminiscences that this gentle genius, this true poet,
contributed this famous masterpiece to his pages.

"The scholarly, accomplished, and warm-hearted TOM TAYLOR was the
next to join the Table, and his 'Spanish Ballads' (in 1846), admirably
illustrated by DOYLE, made their mark, as did later his 'Unprotected
Female.' In Volume XVI. PERCIVAL LEIGH commenced his 'Mr. PIPS,
his Diary, or, Manners and Customs of ye Englyshe in 1849,'
characteristically illustrated by RICHARD DOYLE at his graphic best.
The same year was remarkable for the appearance of LEECH's most
delightful character, the simple-minded, sport-loving, philistine
paterfamilias, Mr. BRIGGS, first met with in connection with 'The
Pleasures of Housekeeping,' though subsequently associated especially
with humorous sporting scenes.

"The frontispiece to Volume XIX., for the second half of the year
1850, was by a 'new hand,' none other than JOHN TENNIEL _the_
'Cartoonist' _par excellence_, whose work henceforth was to be--as
happily it still is--the pride of _Mr. Punch_ and the delight of the
British Public. TENNIEL's first Cartoon, 'Lord JACK the Giant-Killer,'
graced _Mr. Punch's_ 499th Number, he having taken, at short notice,
the place of RICHARD DOYLE, who after many years of excellent work
had voluntarily withdrawn from the Table, owing to certain religious
scruples, not wholly unconnected with the subject of his successor's
first 'Big Cut.'

"Another member of my little army about this time was GEORGE SILVER,
and my next recruits were the polished and witty SHIRLEY BROOKS, and,
one who was to develop into the greatest master of Black-and-White
Art this country has produced, CHARLES KEENE to wit, our dear,
picturesque, unsophisticated 'CARLO,' lost to the Table--an
irreparable loss!--but a few months ago.

"At the opening of Volume XXVII. for the second half of the year
1854, you will observe, Mr. ANNO DOMINI, a Picture by JOHN TENNIEL
(reproduced above), in which the then existing Staff of _Punch_ are
humorously sketched. They are engaged in somewhat varied sports and
pastimes. _Mr. Punch_ is keeping wicket in a game in which THACKERAY
wields the bat, and PERCIVAL LEIGH is bowling; MARK LEMON, and GILBERT
À BECKETT are playing at battledore and shuttlecock, and DOUGLAS
JERROLD is having a solitary game of skittles, the 'pins' being the
at Leapfrog, TOM TAYLOR 'overing' MAYHEW, whilst SHIRLEY BROOKS is
following up. In the background JOHN TENNIEL is sketching the Good
Knight _Punchius_ upon a wall, whilst in the immediate foreground JOHN
LEECH, upon a hobby-horse, is leaping over an easel. These were the
chief of my 'Young Men' at this time. In front of the tent are two
gentlemen, one in a black, the other in a white, hat. The first is
WILLIAM BRADBURY, the second is 'Pater' EVANS, our 'proprietors and
friends' of that day.

"In 1856 an obituary notice showed that the Table had experienced
one of its earliest losses, that of GILBERT ABBOTT À BECKETT. And on
June 8th, in the following year, the boding black border appeared 'In
Memoriam' of DOUGLAS JERROLD. Ah, me, Mr. ANNO DOMINI, the jingling
of the cap-and-bells, howsoever merrily it may sound, is perforce
interrupted now and again by the chiming of a bell of deeper note and
sadder tone.

"Volume XXXIX. for 1860 saw the artistic advent of the Society
Satirist of the Victorian Era, GEORGE DU MAURIER; and in Volume XLIV.
for the year 1863, the presence of another 'New Boy' at my Table, was
evidenced by the appearance of the burlesque London-Journalish Novel,
'Mokeanna,' in which FRANCIS COWLEY BURNAND parodied the 'Penny

"The very first page of my Volume for 1864, Mr. ANNO DOMINI, recorded
a great, a grievous, an irreparable loss to me and to the world.
WILLIAM MAKEPEACE THACKERAY, the greatest of my contributors, had gone
for ever from my Table. And a little later--only a little later--in my
Number for November 12th, 1864, appeared an obituary notice--alas the
day!--of the great, the genial, the loved, the lamented JOHN LEECH.

"In the Volumes for this year, 1865, appear for the first time the
fanciful, ingenious, elaborately symbolical designs of CHARLES H.
BENNETT, who unhappily did not long enrich my pages with his facile
execution and singular subtlety of fancy. He died on the 2nd April.
His place at my Table was soon after taken by LINLEY SAMBOURNE.

"On the 23rd May, 1870, he who had sat at the head of my Table ever
since its first establishment, 'who wrote the first article in this
Journal, who from its establishment had been its conductor,' left
empty the chief seat at my board.

    "'If this Journal has had the good fortune to be credited with
    habitual advocacy of truth and justice, if it has been praised
    for abstention from the less worthy kind of satire, if it
    has been trusted by those who keep guard over the purity of
    womanhood and of youth, we, the best witnesses, turn for
    a moment from our sorrow to bear the fullest and the most
    willing testimony that the high and noble spirit of MARK
    LEMON ever prompted generous championship, ever made unworthy
    onslaught or irreverent jest impossible to the pens of those
    who were honoured in being coadjutors with him.'

"This, Mr. ANNO DOMINI, was the high and merited tribute which the
spokesman of his surviving colleagues paid to the beloved memory of

"SHIRLEY BROOKS succeeded him in the editorial chair, which he filled
fittingly and faithfully for--alas!--only four years. In 1874 I lost
my second Editor. TOM TAYLOR was his successor, taking up with the
Editorship, the extraction of that weekly 'Essence of Parliament,' so
long and so delightfully distilled by the deceased Chief.

"Meanwhile, on April 30th, 1872, HORACE MAYHEW, had departed from our
midst. A little later the Table received a further accession in the
person of ARTHUR WILLIAM À BECKETT, ('Mr. BRIEFLESS Junior,') son of
that GILBERT ABBOTT À BECKETT who was one of my earliest 'Stars.' His
brother, a second GILBERT À BECKETT, took his seat at the Table a
few years later. In Volume LXVIII. for 1875, E.J. MILLIKEN made his
first appearance as a _Punch_ Writer. The Author of the 'ARRY papers,
'CHILDE CHAPPIE's Pilgrimage,' &c., joined my Table two years later.

"On the 12th July, 1880, another great loss befel me. TOM TAYLOR, my
third Editor, left that honourable post vacant, after occupying it
with credit and distinction for six years. Mr. F.C. BURNAND, author of
'Happy Thoughts,' &c., reigns in his stead. R.F. SKETCHLEY, who had a
seat at my Board for several years, resigned it a little later.

"The same year, 1880, saw the introduction of a new Artist, in the
person of HARRY FURNISS; and the next introduced HENRY W. LUCY, the
'TOBY' of _Mr. Punch's_ remodelled Essence of Parliament.

"In 1887, the appearance of '_Mr. Punch's_ Manual for Young Reciters,'
gave evidence of the fact that the Author of _Vice Versâ_, Mr. F.
ANSTEY, had joined my Table. He, with R.C. LEHMANN, Author of 'Modern
Types,' &c., and E.G. REED, the Artist, are the very latest additions
thereto. That Table has, within the last two years, sustained yet
two other losses: PERCIVAL LEIGH, last survivor of the 'Old Guard,'
dying on 24th October, 1889, whilst, early in the present year,
the inimitable CHARLES KEENE, universally acknowledged to be the
greatest master of 'Black-and-White' technique who ever put pencil
to wood-block, was taken away from me.

"Merely to mention _all_ the bright pens and pencils which have
occasionally contributed to my pages, would occupy much space. Amongst
Lord TENNYSON; amongst Artists, HOWARD (whose signature, a trident,
was at one time familiar to _Punch_ readers), Miss BOWERS, RALSTON,
BRYAN, BARNARD, W.S. GILBERT (who illustrated several of his own

"The present Staff, Mr. ANNO DOMINI, you may see assembled 'round
the old Tree' in the accompanying Cartoon. Around on the walls are
the counterfeit presentments of their illustrious and honoured
predecessors. My guests, you perceive, are drinking a toast. That
toast is, '_Mr. Punch_, his health and Jubilee!'"

"In which I am delighted to join!" responded ANNO DOMINI. "_Mr.
Punch_, you must be as proud of your 'Mahogany Tree,' and its many
memories, as King ARTHUR of his Table Round."

  "'For dear to ARTHUR was that hall of ours,
  As having there so oft with all his Knights

quoted the Sage, musing deeply of many things. Many of _my_ Knights
have 'gone before,' but they have not

  "'Left me gazing at a barren board.'

"Their monograms are carven on this Table, their memories abide
with us as we drink to _Punch's_ Jubilee, and will abide when, as I
hope, yet another fifty years hence, our successors drink with equal
heartiness to _Punch's_ Centenary!"

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: J. Tenniel. H. Silver. C. Keene. T. Taylor. F.C.
Burnand. R.F. Sketchley. H. Mayhew. M. Lemon. Shirley Brooks. Du
Maurier. P. Leigh.]

       *       *       *       *       *


[Illustration: IN THE SIXTIES.]

[Illustration: IN THE SEVENTIES.]

[Illustration: IN THE EIGHTIES.]

[Illustration: IN THE NINETIES.]

       *       *       *       *       *



       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "THE MAHOGANY TREE.".]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *



[Illustration: "Dizzy," 1847.]

_House of Commons, July 14th, 1891._--Things going on here much as
usual. Rapidly winding up Session amid familiar surroundings. OLD
MORALITY in seat of Leader of the House; Mr. G. opposite; SPEAKER in
Chair; Sergeant-at-Arms on guard by the door; and WINDBAG SEXTON on
his feet.

Brings back to my mind the first time I saw House. Wasn't in the House
then; a mere puppy, which, indeed, some say I remain to this day. The
date was August the 19th, 1841, and from seat where Strangers were
admitted in the old House (the temporary building occupied whilst
BARRY was erecting this lofty pile) I looked on at the opening of the
first Session of the Fourteenth Parliament of the then United Kingdom
of Great Britain and Ireland, appointed to meet at Westminster in the
fifth year of the Reign of HER MAJESTY QUEEN VICTORIA.

[Illustration: "The Sphinx is Silent," 1876.]

Remember it as if it were yesterday. It was MELBOURNE's Ministry; but
he of course sat in another place. On the Treasury Bench, distinctly
visible under his hat, was JOHNNY RUSSELL, Colonial Secretary and
Leader of the House of Commons. At a safe distance from him sat PAM,
then in the prime of life, and at the time holding the post of Foreign
Minister, in which he was able to make a remarkably large number of
people uncomfortable. There was Sir GEORGE GREY, Chancellor of the
Duchy, whilst a sturdily built gentleman, then known as the Right Hon.
(not the SAGE OF QUEEN ANNE'S GATE) was President of the Board of
Trade, and Master of the Mint; whilst FRANCIS BARING was Chancellor
of the Exchequer, all untroubled by the necessity of constructing a
Budget since he knew he would never be called on to bring one in.

On the Front Bench opposite was Sir ROBERT PEEL with JAMES GRAHAM at
his right elbow. In modest retirement at the end of the Bench sat a
young man, of full height, and good figure, with a mass of black hair
crowning a large, well-shaped head. Remember noticing how carefully
the hair was parted down the middle, in a fashion then unusual with
men. His face was pleasant to look upon, even mild in its expression;
but from time to time, more particularly when he spoke, there
flashed from beneath his dark and bushy eyebrows a pair of eyes that
shone like stars. This was the Mr. G. of those days, whose highest
Ministerial office, as yet, had been the Under-Secretaryship for the
Colonies, held for a few months six years earlier.

[Illustration: "W.E.G.," 1860.]

Big House on this first night, as Houses were counted then, when the
number of Members was considerably less. First business was to choose
SPEAKER. SHAW-LEFEVRE (not the Member for Bradford, but a forbear)
had been SPEAKER in last Parliament; re-elected now, PEEL, who, by
the lifting of a finger, could have put his own nominee in the Chair,
graciously consenting.

[Illustration: "The Colossus of Words," 1879.]

Of all who filled the House on that night, only two have seats in
the present Parliament--Mr. G., and the humble person who, by favour
of the Electors of Barkshire, is permitted to pen these lines.
(CHRISTOPHER TALBOT, then represented Glamorganshire, but he just
failed to live into this Jubilee time.) Yet, when I look round on the
Benches now, I see a score of men who bear the names, and are, in many
cases, descendants, of Members who sat in the Parliament that will
ever have a place in history, if only because it was born in the same
year, almost in the same month, as _Mr. Punch_. There was a THOMAS
DYKE ACLAND, representing Devonshire; there were two HENEAGES, one
representing Devizes, and the other, EDWARD, sitting for Grimsby,
as EDWARD HENEAGE sits to-day for the same borough. There was a
BORTHWICK, Member for Evesham. There was a PHILIP STANHOPE, Member for
Hertford. STANSFELD sat for Huddersfield, and MARJORIBANKS for Hythe,
a LAWSON for Knaresborough, a BECKETT for Leeds, a CHILDERS for
Malton, a MANNERS for Newark-upon-Trent, having a certain WILLIAM
EWART GLADSTONE for colleague. He was the Lord JOHN, well known to
students of poetry, who now wears a Ducal coronet.

Of course there was a SMITH, VERNON by Christian name, Member for
Northampton; a HOULDSWOTH representing Nottinghamshire, a MACLEAN
for Oxford, a HARCOURT for Oxfordshire--nay, in this happy Parliament
there were two HARCOURTS, GRANVILLE HARCOURT VERNON sitting for East
Retford. A VIVIAN sat for Penrhyn--HUSSEY VIVIAN's father, JOHN
HENEY, sat in the same Parliament for Swansea. Lord EBRINGTON sat for
Plymouth, and CHARLES RUSSELL for Reading. ORMSBY GORE represented
North Shropshire, long a possession of his family. The Markiss
o' GRANBY sat for Stamford, with a CLARK for colleague. FREDERICK
VILLIERS (not our present Father) kept the name green at Sudbury, and
there was a WYNDHAM for Sussex. The HENRY LABOUCHERE of those less
lively days sat for Taunton, and Sir ROBERT PEEL, our SPEAKER's
father, for Tamworth. There was a HAYTER, GOOD-ENOUGH: for Wells, one
LOWTHER represented Westmoreland, and another York. A WALTER LONG sat
for North Wilts, STUART WORTLEY sat for the West Riding, and JAMES
DUFF for Banffshire. We had a BALFOUR for Haddington, and Lord DALMENY
of that day, happier than the present head of the family, sat in the
Commons for Inverkeithing, a place long since swept off the electoral
board. These surnames, with one or two others I can't recall--yes,
there was a DALRYMPLE for Wigtonshire--are familiar on the Roll of
Parliament to-day.

Amongst the prominent Members of this Parliament I remember ROEBUCK
sitting; for Bath; and PAKINGTON--then plain JOHN all unconscious
of the coming marvel of a Ten Minutes' Reform Bill--for Droitwich.
STRATFORD CANNING had a seat for King's Lynn, and MONCKTON' MILNES
was Member for Pomfret. JOHN BRIGHT was not in the House, but RICHARD
COBDEN sat for Stockport, and there was an acidulous person, then
known as RALPH BERNAL, who sat for Wycombe. We knew BERNAL OSBORNE
in many later Parliaments.

Curious to think how Ireland at this epoch belonged to the classes!
DANIEL O'CONNELL was just in his prime, and, in addition to himself
returned three of his name. SMITH O'BRIEN was yet far off the cabbage
garden, and HENRY GRATTAN sat for Meath. There is a living image of
him now among the busts in the corridor leading out of the Octagon
Hall; a fiery dramatic speaker in the House, who, as someone said of
him at the time, used in his passion to throw up his arms, bend over
till he touched the floor with his finger-nails, and thank Heaven
he had no gestures. The O'CONNOR DON whom Members younger than I
remember as he sat above the Gangway in the Parliament of 1874, then
represented Roscommon. But for the most part the Irish Members of
those days were Earls, Viscounts, Knights, Baronets, Honourables and
Right Honourables.

There were, on the Motion for the Address, big debates in both Houses
on this particular night, when I first saw the SPEAKER in wig and
gown. The fate of the Ministry could scarcely be said to hang in
the balance; they knew they were doomed. In the Lords the shrift was
short. Not too late for dinner, their Lordships divided: "Contents
96, Not Contents 168," majority against Government 72. I well remember
COVENTRY's speech; worth reciting as a model for these later days.
He followed LANSDOWNE, and House wanted to hear NORTHAMPTON. When
COVENTRY presented himself, fearful row kicked up. He stood there till
silence partially restored, then he said in deep voice, as who should
say "My name is--Norval,"--

[Illustration: "AU REVOIR!"]

"I am Lord COVENTRY. A few words from me. I think the country is in a
safe state, and I hope to find it placed in the hands of the Duke of
WELLINGTON. My Lords, I hope I have not detained you."

Then he sat down.

In the Commons, debate lasted four days; majority against Government

The LABBY of 1841 spoke at length, and was followed by Mr. D'ISRAELI
(he spelt it with an apostrophe in those days): a good Disraelian ring
about the last sentence of his speech.

"The House," he said, "ought now to act as it had been acted upon in
times when Parliament was unreformed, when DANBY found himself in a
dungeon, and STRAFFORD on a scaffold. Now the Whigs hold office by
abusing the confidence of the Sovereign, and defying the authority
of Parliament."

After him came the still budding BERNAL OSBORNE, CHARLES NAPIER,
ROEBUCK, JOHNNIE RUSSELL, fighting to the last with his back to the

       *       *       *       *       *


THEN (1841) and NOW (1891).]

       *       *       *       *       *


       *       *       *       *       *


MR. PUNCH,--"When the future inquirer shall take up your volumes,
or a bundle of French plays, and contrast the performance of your
booth with that of the Parisian theatre, he won't fail to remark how
different they are, and what different objects we admire or satirise.
As for your morality. Sir, it does not become me to compliment you on
it before your venerable face; but permit me to say, that there never
was before published in this world so many volumes that contained so
much cause for laughing, and so little for blushing; so many jokes,
and so little harm. Why, Sir, say even that your modesty, which
astonishes me more and more every time I regard you, is calculated,
and not a virtue naturally inherent in you, that very fact would argue
for the high sense of the public morality among us. We will laugh in
the company of our wives and children; we will tolerate no indecorum:
we like that our matrons and girls should be pure."

       *       *       *       *       *

[Illustration: "ON WE GOES AGAIN!"]

*** End of this Doctrine Publishing Corporation Digital Book "Punch, or the London Charivari, Volume 101, Jubilee Issue, July 18, 1891" ***

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